In this week’s update I will be focusing on our offer of support to local areas.

Capacity, Capability and Confidence

As I have mentioned before the Better Care Support Team’s primary focus is to ensure you have access to help, advice, ideas and insight to assist you in delivering your Better Care Fund plans. Ultimately we want to build longer term capacity around integration of health and social care, an integral part of the future of our health and social care services.

The Team has been working hard to get a programme of support up and running as quickly as possible, using the valuable feedback and insight you have provided to us via the readiness survey and regional conversations. Responding to your feedback, and reflecting on accepted theories around how to create system change, we are placing much more emphasis on supporting peer to peer learning than in previous phases of Better Care Support. We are also enabling much more regional level control over the support offer – see below for further details. 

Below are a series of questions to help you identify which aspect of our new support offer might best suit your needs and those of your local health and social care system.


1. We know that Better Care Fund plans are ambitious and hence challenging to deliver.  Are you keen to get an outside perspective on where your biggest assets are, but also what your priority issues to address are?

The process of peer review and challenge can be transformational for areas faced with the need for major organisational challenge. It can be equally transformational for the team conducting the review, as for the team that are submitting themselves for a review.

This process can help locality teams to develop new ways of working, capacity for critical assessment and reflection, and ultimately provides the chance to have a mirror held up the system you work within and gain an entirely new perspective on your challenges.

That’s why we are developing a programme of peer review and challenge, specifically for senior leaders (around Deputy Director level) focussed on implementation of Better Care Fund plans.

If you are interested in what the programme could offer you and your system, please get in touch to be part of the pilots running between July and October. Email: or


2.  There are well known technical issues that need to be addressed to deliver person centred integrated care. Are you keen to learn how other areas have addressed these?

There are innovative solutions being developed and implemented to tackle the barriers and challenges facing integrated across the country. To access more information about these solutions you can:

  a.  Sign up to the Better Care Exchange and pose a query for your peers to respond to.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Exchange is an online hub which brings together all the key documents related to integrated care and also provides a platform for collaboration and shared learning.

You can sign-up to the Better Care Exchange today by clicking on the following link and choosing the “sign-up now” option -

  b.Watch this space for further details on our programme of case studies, guidance and written materials. The first wave of these will be shared with you in early July, looking at how local areas have overcome challenges around implementation for their flagship Better Care Fund schemes. Following rounds of case studies are to be published throughout the year and will cover such schemes as:

  • Integrating datasets and IT – building on the work being led by the Pioneers programme and the Information Governance Alliance amongst others.
  • Aligning financial incentives and risk sharing – building on and working with Monitor’s resources on this topic.
  • Integrating workforce and culture 

3. Are there challenges in your area in relation to the system level governance, and the alignment of vision, direction and strategy?

Successful integration requires new approaches to system leadership. For local areas where the envisaged new governance and system leadership structures are not delivering as well as they could be, our team of Better Care Advisors, experienced leaders of change and people with a track record of delivering integrated care, are on hand to deliver tailored 1:1 support. In their role they will:

  • Help to resolve challenging local relations and support difficult conversations
  • Establish new ways of working between system leaders
  • Bring in best practice around system leadership in health and social care from other areas.
  • Help to rebuild momentum and reinforce the collective sense that change can be delivered

If you are interested in understanding more about what a Better Care Advisor could offer your local area, please contact your Regional Relationship Manager from the Better Care Support Team – see contact list attached. Or if you would rather approach your regional Local Government Association appointed Care and Health Improvement Advisor, or your regional NHS England Better Care lead, in the first instance, see contact list below.


4. Do you have a support need that is not likely to be met by any existing part of the offer?

We want to hear from you! We are developing the support offer all the time and only with your help and input can we develop an offer that helps you.

While we won’t be able to respond to all requests, we want to have an open and honest conversation about what is needed and where.

Recognising the importance of regional structures in understanding and responding to support needs, and the limitations of a centrally led support offer, we are also making funding available at a regional level too. There will be further details about how you can input into the decision making process for how this funding is spent in your region in due course.

In my next update note I will be issuing a signposting guide to help you navigate through the broader landscape of support and improvement concerning better care.

This guide will contain as much detail as we can gather at this stage about what other support and resources will be available to you from across the key national bodies working to support integration, and what insight you will be able to draw down and when from the other programmes in the integration space, such as Integrated Personal Commissioning. This will be a live document, which we will also post up on the Exchange. 

Providing feedback on the support offer

We are looking for a group of interested stakeholders to road test our different outputs and the development of our support offer. This feedback is extremely important in helping us to understand if our support package, as a whole, is hitting or missing the mark.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact the Support Team -

Many thanks,

Ann Radmore

Better Care Support Team Programme Director